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Imant Raminsh Biography

Imant Raminsh

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Born: 1943. Living in: Canada

Born in 1943 in Ventspils, Latvia, Imant Raminsh came to Canada in 1948. After completing an ARCT diploma in violin at the Royal Conservatory of Toronto and a Bachelor of Music programme at the University of Toronto, he spent two years at the Akademie "Mozarteum" in Salzburg, Austria, studying composition, fugue, violin and conducting, and playing in the professional Camerata Academica orchestra.

He is the founding conductor of the Prince George Symphony, the Youth Symphony of the Okanagan, NOVA Children's Choir, and AURA Chamber Choir. His compositions have been performed on six continents by such ensembles as the Vancouver, Edmonton, Hamilton, Toronto, Okanagan, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick Symphonies, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, the Tafelmusik Baroque Chamber Choir, the Tokyo Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the Stockholm Chamber Choir, the Finnish Radio Chamber Choir, Ave Sol (Latvian Chamber Choir), and many others. His music has been heard in such world-renowned halls as Carnegie Hall (New York), Tchaikovsky Hall (Moscow), the Orpheum (Vancouver), Canterbury Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Notre Dame (Paris) and Santa Maria del'Fiore (Florence).

Recent major commissions have included a violin concerto for the Vancouver Symphony, a bassoon concerto for George Zukerman, and a choral-symphonic setting for baritone solo, large choir, and orchestra of Rilke's Sonnets to the Orpheus Choir of Toronto. In July, 2000, he conducted the world premiere of his Recordare at the Banff Summer Festival, in a programme that also featured Krzysztof Penderecki conducting the Canadian premiere of his Credo. In April 2002, his 9-movement, 8-language Symphony of Psalms was premiered at Carnegie Hall, New York, with a massed choir of 170 voices and orchestra. He and his wife Becky were co-commissioned to create a theme song for the fourth International Children's Conference on the Environment, held May 2002 in Victoria, BC, with 800 children from 120 countries participating.

Thompson (a division of Warner Chappell), Walton Music, Colla Voce, Hinshaw Music, Alliance Music, and the Sveriges Korforbundsforlag (Stockholm). Imant has also pursued studies in geology and biology, and worked for many summers as a naturalist/interpreter in BC provincial parks. He and his wife, Becky, an architectural designer, poet, and collaborator on some of his choral works, have a lovely bright daughter, Lisa Alexandra Soleil. His other interests include history, languages, skiing, canoeing, photography, and reading.

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